Södra Möckleby Church

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Address: Södra Möcklebyvägen 11, 380 65 Degerhamn, Sverige
Location: Southern Öland
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Church environment

The church and the cemetery have a central location in Southern Möckleby village, the main road towards Ottenby in the south and Färjestaden the north passing west of the church and along the road are a few shops including a grocery.

West of the cemetery is the Church park that was laid out in 1957 after plans by Kalmar läns södra Hushållningssällskap (Kalmar County south Housekeeping society). The area was formerly part of the school.

The first school building, built in 1850, is still standing south of the church. The house is considerably rebuilt, partly in connection with the entry into service as town halls when Södra Möckleby became the seat of Ottenby municipality. The building now houses a library and an open preschool, and here was earlier a couple of additional school buildings which was demolished 1965th

North of the cemetery, since 1989, is the parish hall and since 1991 also the parish registrar’s office. Around the cemetery in the east and south is an area with single family houses of different age. The vicarage was earlier located in “Gårdstorp” north of södra Möckleby village but was sold as a new vicarage was built in the village in the 1960s, but is no longer in the parish possession. From 1938, and a number of years forward, were “Södra Möckleby” parish a part of “Kastlösa” parish which also included “Smedby” parish. Nowadays is Södra Möckleby the center of the South Öland parish.

Södra Möckleby has since the 1800s been greatly affected by various industrial activities with alum, lime kiln and cement factory as the most prominent examples. The good harbor location, Degerham, and the access to raw materials made the place ideal.

Öland alum mills or “Södrabruket” gave rise to a whole community with manufacturing plant, workers quarters, mansion and farms. As an example, “Södrabruket” in 1822 had 322 employees, including 116 children. Öland Cement AB was created in 1886 and had in 1920 about 350 employees.

The mills had ups and downs in different periods, and between 1867 and 1926 about 400 parishioners emigrated to America. They were a large percentage of the parish’s population and most of them were young people who had difficulty finding livelihood opportunities at home. The various mills in Degerhamn has greatly influenced the community’s and the parish’s history.


The church

During the medieval times, perhaps as early as the 12th century a church was built in Södra Möckleby. The first known images shows a church with a powerful tower with tent roof, rectangular nave with saddle-back roof and a slightly lower chancel with a semicircular apse.

After lengthy discussions during the 19th century the whole church, except the tower, was demolished, and in 1851 a new church was finished. The drawings were drawn up by Johan Fredrik Åbom and builder was Peter Isberg. The church became a typical neoclassical church with a bright and airy church room.


The church has undergone major interior renovations in 1909 and 1951. In the 1951 renovation, the chancel windows was taken away and clogged, and in 1982 a reconstruction of the altarpiece that existed in the Church in the 18th century was made with the re-use of older parts as well as additions of new ones

The exterior of the church has been restored several times. The biggest change is the clogging of the chancel windows and the cladding of the lantern with sheet metal.


Memorial grove

The memory grove is located in the eastern part of the block 3. The place is small and surrounded by cypress hedge. A limestone rock with the word “Minneslund” (Memorial Grove) marks the grove together with a planting area with shrubs and perennials. There is also a sofa and a stand for flowers.



The Morgue with the façade plastered and painted in white. The roof is covered with domed tiles, doors and bargeboards are painted brown. Windows are facing west, three narrow side by side. Airing hatch is facing east and entrance to the south. Above the door is a smooth plastered mark in the facade, as if there previously existed an opening.



The old limestone tombs in the museum is worn and overgrown with bryophyte and lichens, inscriptions are therefore difficult to read, but in the right lightning the text still appears.


Source: Kalmar Läns Museum, Kalmar County Museum

Translation: Visitoland.com